TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs congratulated Antony Blinken on becoming the 71st secretary of state of the United States Wednesday morning (Jan. 27, Taiwan time).
After being sworn in as the top diplomat, Blinken vowed to restore the U.S.' diplomatic standing and leverage the country's leadership capabilities to address the "challenges and opportunities of our time." In an apparent repudiation of former President Donald Trump's MAGA slogan, Bliken tweeted that the Biden administration would "advance our interests and values in the world as it is — not as it was."
The fourth and most senior of President Joe Biden's Cabinet picks to be confirmed by the Senate so far, Blinken brings decades of foreign policy and national gravitas to the administration. The longtime Biden ally has held top positions in the National Security Council and served as national security advisor and deputy secretary of state under former President Barrack Obama.
(Twitter, Antony Blinken photo)
Soon after Blinken took his post, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) offered congratulations to the veteran diplomat, tweeting "We look forward to working with @StateDept under our leadership in advancing our shared values & interests."
Congrats @SecBlinken on assuming office as secretary of state. #Taiwan & the #US are close partners & forces for good in the world. We look forward to working with @StateDept under your leadership in advancing our shared values & interests. JW https://t.co/LYYGo3XvcJ— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan)
During his confirmation hearing in the Senate last week, Blinken expressed his commitment to ensuring Taiwan can defend itself in line with the Taiwan Relations Act. He also assured legislators that any attempt by China to use military force against the island country would be "a grievous mistake on their part."
Blinken also stated that while he disagrees with some of the actions the Trump took against Beijing, he supports the spirit of the stronger posture, saying China presents the greatest challenge of any country. Although many pundits predict the new U.S. administration will tone down its rhetoric in its dealings with its East Asian rival, Blinken agreed with his predecessor Mike Pompeo's labeling of the repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang as "genocide."